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Families need more choices for day care [CA-ON]

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Darcy, Judy
Publication Date: 
8 Oct 2002

See text below.


Re: Let families care for kids, Oct. 1.

Your editorial opposing the creation of more subsidized child-care spaces was, in fact, a very good argument in favour of subsidized non-profit day care.

The editorial claims that "a bigger, government-controlled system of child care" would reduce options for Ontario parents. In fact, the opposite is true.

Working parents have few options when it comes to child care. High-quality, non-profit child care centres with subsidized spaces have long waiting lists.

What's more, many people of modest means do not qualify for such spaces. Far too often, they are forced to take whatever child care is available.

Most parents don't have family close by or trusted neighbours who also happen to be available during the hours child care is needed.

But more important, many people choose day-care centres because of the highly qualified, caring staff who work in them -- and the clear evidence that children in care get a head start on life.

Rather than complaining about background checks and formal training, you should recognize that many families are seeking that assurance -- with good reason.

Clearly, all families would benefit if there were more choices available to them. Whether their choice is to stay at home (and by the way, it's not only mothers who may choose to do so) or to work outside the home, Ontario needs more options for safe and healthy learning environments for all young children in the province.

And the provincial and federal governments have an urgent responsibility to provide the funding needed to ensure ready access to quality child care for all.

Judy Darcy, Toronto
National President, Canadian Union of Public Employees

-Reprinted from The Ottawa Citizen